Growing Older But Having Fun

Growing Older But Still Having Fun

I don’t plan to calmly glide a sputtering propeller plane to a slow stop at the end of my life. Instead, I will slam on the brakes and overshoot the short landing strip in my Learjet.

Evelyn who is in her 90’s inspires me to live like age is a mere number. She plays tennis several times a week and still makes great shots.

After tennis, she enjoys a gin and tonic while playing bridge with her friends.  I plan to enjoy life and embrace new challenges like Evelyn.

A few years ago I decided that I wanted to improve my writing. Though I have an English degree, I recently returned to school as an undergraduate Mass Communications major.

Returning to school is the most intimidating decision that I have ever made. I protrude like a neon clothed grim reaper as I walk to class among relaxed students clad in sweats, jeans and baseball caps.

My most terrorizing moment was when I had to write a timed news story. The professor instructed the class that the quiz had to be double spaced with specific margins. As I listened to the professor, sweat seeped from my skin, my face flushed and I felt queasy like I was seated in a small plane during strong turbulence.

I reacted because I was a computer novice and I didn’t know how to set up a Word document.   I darted my eyes around the classroom and watched the happy students click away on their stupid computers, while I stared at mine.

I finally slid out of my chair and tentatively approached the professor who sat at his desk. He looked up at me, and this is what I remember from our conversation.

I said, “ Uhh I am very embarrassed, but I don’t know Word and I am used to an Apple so I can’t take the quiz.”

The professor asked, “Ohhh, can you take the quiz home and take it on your Apple?”

I said, “Sure!”

The professor asked, “Can you learn Word?”

I said,“Absolutely!”

The professor said, “Take the quiz home and email it to me”

I said, “Great!”

I immediately relaxed, and I took the quiz home and emailed it to him. The next weekend I spent a couple of hours with my sister who gave me a crash course in Word. The rest of the semester went well and I loved it.

Years from now, as I’m overshooting the tarmac in my Learjet (fashionably late and wearing rose-colored wine glasses), my final tower communication will be: I never stopped learning.

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Bluebird Flegeling

Bluebirds nested, fledged and one probably dead

I have  attracted  bluebirds using mealworms and birdbaths, but I have not been successful with them nesting in my bluebird box until this year.

In the past, bluebirds have attempted to build a nest, only to have sparrows evict them. This year a pair of bluebirds laid eggs and produced four nestlings.

Two weeks ago, the baby bluebirds left their nest or fledged.  When I walked outside, several adult  bluebirds dive bombed me, and I spotted four fledglings hopping on my lawn.

Fledgling survival depends on the parents hearing their call and finding them. The parents will continue to feed  and care for them for three to four weeks as they learn independence.

Unfortunately not all fledglings survive. The day after I saw the baby bluebirds,  I found fledgling feathers on the lawn, and I suspected that  a predator attacked at least one of them.

Some of their  predators include snakes, fire ants, opossum, mice, rats, owls, and raccoons.  In addition,  humans also threaten their survival through pesticide use and  removal of their habitat through development.

Some sources say about 50 percent of fledglings will not survive, but I suspect that the number is greater.

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/attracting-bluebirds-with-mealworms-a-heated-birdbath-and-humor/